Jane Weeks

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 19 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6546
  1. Ned Stafford, Hamburg
  1. ns{at}

Pioneer in oncology outcomes research

In October 2012 one of Jane Weeks’s most important research papers was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Lead author Weeks and colleagues found that most patients with advanced colon and lung cancer facing various treatment options incorrectly believed that chemotherapy could cure them.

The study, “Patients’ Expectations about Effects of Chemotherapy for Advanced Cancer,” concluded that this knowledge deficit “could compromise their ability to make informed treatment decisions that are consonant with their preferences.”1

The paper caught the attention of the general press. In an interview with the New York Times, Weeks said: “If you think chemotherapy will cure you, you’re less open to end of life discussions.”2

At the time of the interview Weeks was facing her own end of life discussion. Two months …

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